luang prabang laos monks cultural tour

Monks, Luang Prabang, Laos

Monks rise early to make their morning procession through Luang Prabang’s temples to receive alms. Our cultural journey across Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia begins in Luang Prabang, a World Heritage Site of gilded temples.

Photo by Brian McGilloway

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Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $5895  
Length: 16 days
Arrive: Luang Prabang, Laos
Depart: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Lodging: 14 nights deluxe hotels, 1 night aboard private traditional junk
Meals: All meals included except 4 dinners
Activity: Archaeology, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level: Cultural explorations and walking tours


  • Visit Luang Prabang, an ancient town of temples
  • Discover Hanoi, “Paris of the Orient,” by bicycle rickshaw
  • Delight in the incredible beauty of Halong Bay aboard our private junk
  • Walk the immense temple city of Angkor Wat
  • Savor renowned regional cuisine including larb, a spicy Lao minced meat salad, and Bún bò Hu, a Vietnamese soup of beef and noodles.

This was my second time on this trip, and I found it as enchanting as the first time.Judith M.—Albuquerque NM

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.


We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Departure Notes

Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.

The intriguing lands of Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia offer a world of enchantment, with their traditional cultures, gorgeous scenery, elegant architecture, and mouth-watering cuisine. Our explorations immerse you deeply in this engaging realm with a private baci (“welcoming”) ceremony with villagers and a visit to a local silk-weaving community in Luang Prabang. We’ll overnight aboard a private junk in breathtaking Halong Bay, with its emerald waters and dramatic rock formations, visit the studio of a renowned artist in Hanoi, and explore the natural caves and Buddhist sanctuaries of Hue. Our grand finale is at dazzling Angkor Wat, Cambodia’s surreal jungle-shrouded city of temples lost in time.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-3
Luang Prabang, Laos

In Luang Prabang, a regal town of gilded temples, we visit 15th century shrines, boat up the Mekong River to the Buddhist caves at Pak Ou, and visit Hmong and Khamu hilltribe villages.

Days 4-6
Hanoi, Vietnam

Our explorations take you through the vibrant back streets of Hanoi’s Old Quarter by bicycle rickshaw and to a lunch of cha ca, Hanoi’s famous fish and noodle specialty.

Day 7
Halong Bay

A World Heritage Site, Halong Bay is a magical realm of limestone islands set amid a jade-green sea. Our overnight cruise aboard a traditional junk allows you to savor evening and early morning vistas of this ethereal setting.

Days 8-9
Hoi An

In Hoi An, stroll through the picturesque riverside town that was once an ancient trading port and watch local fishermen bring their catch to sell at a lively market on the quay.

Days 10-12
Hue / Saigon

Visit the majestic royal tombs of the Nguyen emperors and explore their imperial citadel in Hue, Vietnam’s cultural capital. In Saigon, discover a historic palace, an ornate cathedral, and distinctive regional cuisine.

Days 13-16
Angkor Wat, Cambodia

At magnificent Angkor Wat, we explore the vast complex of extraordinary temple architecture from the 9th to 15th centuries. Depart from Siem Reap on Day 16.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:

What the Trip is Like

The trip is Level 1+, or Easiest. It is an overland cultural adventure, and for the most part, physical activity is light but we still encourage participants to get in shape for the trip because travel to remote places does require some physical stamina. We ask that you make a special effort to bring flexibility and a spirit of adventure to this unique journey.

Explanation of Trip Levels


Departures & Leaders

Nov 7-22, 2015  Mathew Smith
Dec 19, 2015-Jan 3, 2016  Andrew Forbes
Jan 9-24, 2016  Mathew Smith
Feb 13-28, 2016  David Henley

Trip Cost

Prices valid through Spring 2016
$5895 (15-16 members)
$6195 (11-14 members)
$6495 (8-10 members)
Single supplement: $1295
Forced single supplement: $1295
Internal airfare: $790 (subject to change)
Holiday surcharge (Dec. 19): $300
more on pricing

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $500
120 days prior to departure: 20% of trip cost
60 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*

More than 90 days prior to departure: No charge!
90-46 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

*Internal Airfare Payment, Change, and Cancellation Fee Schedule: In order to secure your seats on Internal Air flights, Wilderness Travel must request and confirm your tickets as soon as you sign up on the trip. Payment for Internal Air will be collected from each trip member at the time of reservation. Once issued, internal air tickets are subject to a $100 per person fee for any changes or cancellation until 60 days prior to the trip. Within 60 days of the trip, all tickets are non-refundable. The name on your tickets must match your passport exactly, and any name changes are subject to these same fees. We therefore request that you send us a scanned copy of your passport photo page immediately upon reserving your trip. Internal Air payments and cancellation fees are in addition to Trip Cost payments and cancellation fees as noted above.

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
  • Accommodations
  • All meals included except 4 dinners
  • Sightseeing as noted with entrance fees to sites and museums
  • Surface transportation in buses or vans
  • Land transportation, airport transfers for all passengers, and baggage handling

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare, internal airfare/taxes within Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Full Trip Brochure, beverages at group meals, international airport departure taxes, optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff, hotels en route to/from Asia and any additional hotel nights that may be necessary due to airline schedule changes or other factors, pre-trip expenses of medical immunizations (if any), travel insurance, or passports and visas, and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.).

Arrival & Departure Information

You are responsible for your own transportation arriving to Luang Prabang, Laos, and departing from Siem Reap, Cambodia. For more detailed information, please download the Detailed Itinerary.

Please do not purchase your tickets until you are confirmed on the trip and have reviewed your proposed air schedule with our office. Once your tickets have been purchased, please send us a copy of your airline schedule so we can reserve your airport transfers.

Luang Prabang, Laos
Date: Day 1

Suggested Arrival Airport:
Luang Prabang, Laos (airport code: LPQ)
Suggested arrival time: early afternoon

Siem Reap, Cambodia
Date: Day 16

Suggested Airport for Departure:
Siem Reap, Cambodia (airport code: REP)
Suggested departure time: after 3:00 pm

Villa Santi Hotel

Villa Santi Hotel

Days 1 to 3 (3 nights), Luang Prabang, Laos

A charming boutique hotel, the Villa Santi is a former royal residence situated in the heart of the old historic town, just steps from the temples ...
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Hanoi Opera Hilton Hotel

Hanoi Opera Hilton Hotel

Days 4 to 6 (3 nights), Hanoi, Vietnam

This landmark hotel is located adjacent to the Parisian-style Opera House in the heart of Hanoi’s elegant French Quarter and just steps from ...
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Private Junk

Private Junk

Day 7 (1 night), Halong Bay, Vietnam

Overnighting aboard a private junk in a secluded cove of Halong Bay is a unique opportunity to capture the evening and early morning vistas of this ...
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Hotel in Hoi An

Days 8 to 9 (2 nights), Hoi An, Vietnam

In Hoi An, we stay at one of the following properties:

La Residence Hotel & Spa

La Residence Hotel & Spa

Days 10 to 11 (2 nights), Hue, Vietnam

Located on the Perfume River near the center of Hue, the La Residence Hotel & Spa is a former governor’s residence renovated into a ...
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Caravelle Hotel

Caravelle Hotel

Day 12 (1 night), Saigon, Vietnam

The chic Caravelle is situated adjacent to the French Colonial Opera House in Saigon’s downtown. Many luminaries have stayed here, including ...
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Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Resort

Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Resort

Days 13 to 15 (3 nights), Siem Reap, Cambodia

Set among lovely gardens and ponds, the Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Resort will feel like an oasis of serenity after a full day exploring the temples ...
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Extension Accommodations

If you would like to view the accommodations offered with our extensions options:

Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Our Trip Leaders

Here are the Trip Leaders scheduled for this journey (please note that leader assignments are subject to change).

Andrew Forbes

Departure Dates: December 19, 2015-January 3, 2016

Andrew Forbes, PhD, originally from Great Britain, taught Asian history at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland until 1990, when he moved to Southeast Asia to make writing a full-time career. He lives in Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand with his wife and son, and writes travel books and political ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

David Henley

Departure Dates: February 13-28, 2016

David Henley was born and raised in England, where he studied as a commercial photographer before embarking on an extended adventure throughout Asia. He eventually settled in Chiang Mai, where he has been living for over 25 years. In addition to trip leading and traveling throughout Southeast ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Mathew Smith

Departure Dates: November 7-22, 2015, January 9-24, 2016

Mathew Smith, a former language teacher from the UK, went to Thailand to teach in 1987 and fell in love with Southeast Asia. Fluent in Thai, Mathew is revered by trip members for his extraordinary knowledge of Southeast Asia’s politics, history, and culture, and also for his easygoing style ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:


Burma Extension

Yangon and Bagan

Cultural Adventures
6 days  -  Level 2


Burma Extension

Yangon and Bagan

Cultural Adventures
6 days  -  Level 2


wat arun bangkok thailand

Bangkok Extension

Discover the Beautiful Cultural Monuments of Bangkok

Cultural Adventures
3 days  -  Level 1

Chiang Mai Extension

Explore the Wonders of Northern Thailand

Cultural Adventures, Walking, Wildlife & Natural History
3 days  -  Level 2

Phuket Extension

Explore a Jewel Set in the Andaman Sea

Cultural Adventures, Sea Kayaking
4 days  -  Level 2

Client Comments

This was my second time on this trip, and I found it as enchanting as the first time. Judith M., Albuquerque NM We were taught so much beyond the usual viewpoint given to a tourist that I felt I had a much deeper understanding of the culture and history than I would have if traveling with a different company. Charlene H., Palm Springs CA This was an adventure that my husband and I will long remember. Thanks to WT for yet another outstanding trip. You really know how to run a good trip. Essie H., Santa Monica, CA Our Trip Leader was outstanding. His extensive knowledge, charm, patience, and delightful sense of humor made for a memorable trip. Anne W., Riverside, CT A great way to see three countries in 2.5 weeks. Very enjoyable and educational. Joseph L., Acampo, CA Everything was great about this trip from start to finish. Tish P., Ashland, OR The trip was wonderful. I am impressed not only with the itinerary, hotels, and food, but also with how smoothly the trip runs. Robert B., Berkeley, CA This was a very memorable experience. The logistics were absolutely seamless and we learned a great deal. Alan W., Bedford, MA Experiencing different cultures; viewing beautiful scenery within the cities and in rural areas; learning Indochine's incredible contempary and ancient histories; and meeting its beautiful people made this trip extraordinary. Every day brought unique experiences. My world view has been profoundly changed by the experience. Marjo K., Bend, OR
We had many wonderful experiences during this trip! Each country had its own special events that helped us better understand its people and the ways they live. As we learned more, we developed increasing respect, knowing about the glories of their pasts and their visions for the future. Linda L., San Antonio, TX

Sharing Indochine with Andrew was a gift. His extraordinary breadth of knowledge and experience in the area made it all come alive. It was a magnificent adventure that taught me so much about the cultures and history, far more than I could have imagined.

Jane S., Santa Fe, NM This was the perfect getaway. The Trip Leader was the perfect host, and the individual country leaders were also great. Anna B., Mt. Kisco, NY An incredible variety of activities was packed into the trip, yet we never felt rushed. It would be impossible to do what we did in the same period of time without the expertise of WT guides. Kay M., Cle Elum, WA We had a fantastic time on this of the best ever! The itinerary was perfect—great places with so much to see and do and just the right amount of time in each. David and Linda G., Wilton, CT